At Brownsburg Animal Clinic, we maintain detailed medical records on every one of our patients. From time to time, our clients ask us to share those records with veterinary specialists, emergency clinics, breeders, groomers and training clubs. By state law, we cannot release your pet’s records without a signed authorization from you.
Doctors’ handling of human patients’ medical records are subject to HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. While HIPAA does not apply to veterinary records, many states—including Indiana—have implemented similar regulations to protect the privacy of animals’ medical records and information about their medical condition.
Here are the specific regulations for Indiana, as summarized by the American Veterinary Medical Association on their web page about confidentiality of veterinary patient records:
An animal’s veterinary medical record and medical condition is confidential and may not be furnished to or discussed with any person other than the client or other veterinarians involved in the care or treatment of the animal without written authorization of the client with the following exceptions:
An animal’s veterinary medical records and medical condition must be furnished within five (5) business days without written client authorization under the following circumstances:
(1) Access to the records is specifically required by a state or federal statute.
(2) An order by a court with jurisdiction in a civil or criminal action upon the court’s issuance of a subpoena and notice to the client or the client’s legal representative.
(3) As part of an inspection or investigation conducted by the board or an agent of the board.
(4) As part of a request from a regulatory or health authority, physician, or veterinarian:
(A) to verify a rabies vaccination of an animal; or
(B) to investigate a threat to human or animal health, or for the protection of animal or public health and welfare.
(5) As a part of an animal cruelty report and associated applicable records that are part of an abuse investigation by law enforcement or a governmental agency.
(6) To a law enforcement agency as part of a criminal investigation.
An animal’s veterinary medical records and medical condition may be furnished without written client authorization under the following circumstances:
(1) To the School of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University, the animal disease diagnostic laboratory, or a state agency or commission. However, an animal’s veterinary medical records remain confidential unless the information is disclosed in a manner allowed under this section.
(2) Veterinary medical records that are released by the board of animal health when in the judgment of the state veterinarian the disclosure is necessary or helpful in advancing animal health or protecting public health.
(3) For statistical and scientific research, if the information is abstracted in a way as to protect the identity of the animal and the client.
We have a multi-purpose form that includes an authorization to release your pet’s records when you ask us to.
For your convenience, we encourage you to download and complete the form now and return it to our office so we may respond without delay any time you ask us to share your pet’s medical records.
You can also use this form to notify us of changes in your address or phone number.